Where are they now?

Many of our soccer players have failed to enjoy life after soccer, but not Mthandazo Sithole.

Mthandazo Sithole
Mthandazo Sithole

The award-winning former Darryn-T shot-stopper now works as a Fitter and Turner at NNC Machine Tools here. He has been an artisan for nine years. “I have learnt a lot throughout the years I have been an artisan. It’s really a challenging job but I am enjoying it because it brings food on the table,” said the man who ended his 11-year soccer career in 2001.

“Football is an interesting sport, but it can also wreck your life if you do not plan well. I realised that and trained as artisan to make sure that I have a life at a later stage.” He advised modern-day players to do the same. Sithole (42) blamed Zimbabwe’s failure to make a mark internationally on failure to develop talent.

“I am very disappointed with what I am seeing now. ZIFA needs to start investing in the junior policy for us to improve. In the past, we used to have regional tournaments and progressive junior leagues, but now we are left with only names.”

Sithole won two medals with Darryn-T. He was also first choice goalkeeper when the Delma Lupepe-owned Amazulu where promoted in 1997.

“At Darryn-T, we had a successful side that groomed players who later played for the national team. Some later had progressive careers abroad. I won medals that included the then Independence Cup and some regional trophies.”

He is disappointed that 2003 league champions Amazulu were relegated and later became defunct. Ironically, his young brother, Dominic, was first choice goalkeeper when the club went down.

Sithole also played for U-20 senior national side alongside Peter Ndlovu, the late Benjami Nkonjera, Adam Ndlovu and former club-mates at Darryn-T Alois Bunjira, Engelbert Dhina and Gift Muzadzi. He is to try his luck in coaching juniors this year as he sees grassroots soccer development as the key to success.

Post published in: Football

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